No Hallowmas souling or guising for me this year, but I went to a trunk-or-treat for the first time ever on Friday night. I confess I was down on the concept before this; I enjoyed a childhood with conventional neighborhood trick-or-treating and my tendency has been to think of the trunk-or-treat variation as an overreaction against exaggerated fears and decreased acquaintance with ones neighbors (and one that might not be effective anyway). I'm still nostalgiac for and in favor of the tradition I grew up with, but I'm also swayed. The event I attended was a community of people who largely lived far enough away from each other that they never could have all gone door-to-door forming a delightful party in a parking lot. It was a good night.
Maybe it was unconsciously inspired by the mobile stations of that first trunk-or-treat experience, or maybe it was something I misoverheard in conversation, mixed by the changes in the air on All Hallow's Eve. But tonight I had a brief vision, perhaps of a far country, or perhaps not so far, of neighborhoods where trick-or-treaters stood still while homes moved and came, one at a time, to stand before them.
I saw doors opening, and then the halloween hailing, but no pattern that determined which party would hail the other, and could only catch glimpses of what went on inside when people would enter a home. Some stayed within and the buildings consequently took root, an ominous thing when uneasy visions were projected through the windows, but a merry one for the panes through which you could glimpse scenes of convivial warmth. Some would enter briefly and leave, some would linger a while before departing to again stand on the street before a long carousel of the buildings themselves shuffling between substantiality and the dreams of the night. Some left smiling, some left downcast. I couldn't tell if any knew beforehand which encounter was trick or treat.